If you've had a long and challenging day or just aren't feeling your best for a variety of reasons, it's easy to feel bad about yourself or put yourself down. We all have bad days, but that's when the negative self-talk or self-image thoughts start to creep in and take up space inside your brain. This is when it's important to show a little love to your body through some self-care. Consider it a "treat yo'self" moment.
While it might be impossible to feel positive all the time (and you're allowed to feel those feelings), there are some quick and easy things you can do to feel a little better physically and mentally, which can lift your spirits. Take a look at some ideas below.
Cavan Images/Getty Images
Stretching: A lot of us build up tension in our body throughout the day, whether it's in our shoulders, jaw, or neck. Doing a few simple stretches can make your body feel a lot better and reduce any pain or discomfort you're feeling.
Drink water: Not only will it help avoid dehydration, but drinking water can also feel so refreshing and calming. One study found that the act of gulping down water could have a satisfying effect on people because your brain knows it is relieving thirst.
Take a bath: There are so many good reasons to take a bath. One, it's just such a relaxing experience—a small study conducted in 2018 found that bathing instead of showering could lower stress levels and provide physical refreshment. Two, if we're sore, heat can help, so a hot bath would be so soothing if your muscles are tense or you're experiencing discomfort. And three, another study found that a 60-minute soak in the tub could have the same effects as an hourlong workout.
Change your posture: Sitting up straight can benefit your body and mind. A 2009 study found that good posture can give you more confidence. The participants were more likely to say they were confident for a job when they weren't slouching. Body-wise, it's no surprise that improving your posture can help prevent back pain.
Turn on the diffuser: We could go on and on about the benefits of aromatherapy, but we'll save you some time and just tell you that pressing the "on" button on your diffuser or sniffing your pick of essential oils can have a calming, mood-lifting effect.
Talk a walk: Or just go outside for some fresh air. A change of scenery can do you some good. Getting your limbs moving can help relieve any stress and also stretch out your body, which is helpful if you've been sitting in your office chair all day long.
Try a face mask: Or any beauty self-care method for that matter. Your skin will feel so much better afterward, and there's just something so calming and luxurious about putting on a mask and doing pretty much nothing for a couple of minutes.
Thomas Barwick/Getty Images
Work out: Okay, this one does require some trying, but exercise makes you feel better and more energized. You can shake off any bad energy or thoughts while also getting your heart racing and your body stretching and moving. It's hard to regret a workout, even if you do feel sore after. The endorphins will leave you floating.
Wear your favorite outfit or power color: There's nothing like wearing clothes that make you feel good and look good. It's a major confidence booster.
Claudia Totir/Getty Images
Eat: Taking time to eat something fresh and healthy will leave you feeling good. Whether it's a piece of fruit or a big salad, you can deal with any hangry feelings, and you'll be doing your body some good with the nutrients.
Breathe: Just taking a few seconds out of the day to breathe in and out will do wonders for your mood, helping to calm you. Deep breathing is a relaxation technique that can benefit your body by increasing blood flow, lowering your heart rate, and reducing muscle tension.
Give yourself a pep talk: Or journal your feelings. This can help you take stock of your negative or bad feelings and help you sort them out. And when you say or write down some confidence-boosting thoughts about yourself or the situation you're in, it might give you more motivation or energy.
Meditate: This one is good for your mind and body since you can release any tension or anxiety you're feeling.
Put on New Sheets: Or freshly-washed sheets. There's nothing like sliding into some clean, fresh sheets. It has a calming, tension-relieving effect. Plus it might help you sleep better, which brings us to our last idea...
Sofie Delauw/Getty Images
Go to sleep: Sometimes just going to bed is the only remedy when you're feeling down. Getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to treat your body better. And waking up refreshed and energized can make you feel a lot better mentally and physically.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions. See our full health disclaimer here.